When he was little (littler), Vins quite enjoyed swimming. We had to coax him to get changed and into the pool, but once he was in, he was happy. As he got a bit older, it got harder to convince him to come in the water.
It got harder and harder until it was impossible. The last time Vin (Vin/Vins same thing) went swimming was in November 2013. He has point blank REFUSED to even put on his swimming shorts after that.
However, we had a bit of a breakthrough in April. We were in Dubai for three weeks. Unfortunately Booni got ill. And then Vin got ill – so we didn’t go to the pool until the end of our holiday. Vin had said all along that he was coming with us – to keep us company – but that he wasn’t swimming. ‘I’m not swimming. I’m a horse and horses don’t like getting wet.’ I said that was fine, but that I was going to pack his swimming things just in case he changed his mind.
We went to the poolside at the Shangri-La hotel and proceeded to get Booni changed. He was going through a phase (at seven months) where two people needed to get him dressed. One to hold him down and the other to put his clothes on. Vins watched. We all (me, LagosDad, my sister and Booni) got into the baby pool. It was Booni’s first time in a swimming pool, so we were all oohing and aahing over him. Vins decided he was going to sit on the side and put his feet in. I told him that was a great idea. He took out his toys (bath toys) and started playing with them. Then he said he thought it would be a good idea to get changed – just so he could sit on the first step. I told him that was a great idea. We pretty much ignored him for five minutes and then he said, ‘Oh ok, I’ll come in then.’ LagosDad raced to get his armbands and shove them on his arms before he changed his mind!
We sent Booni home (to my mum) early (after about thirty minutes) and stayed for the rest of the day. Vins had the time of his life. We were soon in the big pool – and he was squealing with delight. At one point he said, ‘I just love this, mama!’
While walking home, I asked him, ‘Did you enjoy the day today?’ His reply, ‘Not really.’
So once we got back to Lagos, LagosDad and I decided that we had to make more of an effort to take him swimming. So we started going on Sundays. And then a friend said she was trying to organise swimming lessons for her daughter and did we want to join. I immediately said yes – better to start while he’s enthusiastic about it!
The first couple of lessons, he wouldn’t get in the pool without me. But the instructor wasn’t too happy. Finally, I told Vin that I wasn’t allowed in the water during the lesson, but that I’d swim with him afterwards – if he listened to his teacher. This worked quite well.
At his last lesson, I told him that I wasn’t swimming with him at all – and that I wanted to see him listening and doing what his teacher told him to. You know what – he’s doing SO well. He’s still wearing armbands, but that’s fine. But he’s actually moving in the water!
Unfortunately it’s rainy season now – so swimming is pretty much out for a while, but I hope he’ll get back into it quickly!